Aviation Week l Iraq Still Faces F-16 Choices

In formally notifying the U.S. Congress over Iraq’s plans to buy 18 F-16IQs, the Pentagon also has detailed what choices Baghdad still faces under a deal that could reach $3.2 billion.

One key issue still to be resolved is whether Iraq will opt for Pratt & Whitney F100PW-229 or General Electric F110-GE-129 engines. Another issue is whether the fighters will be fitted with the ITT ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite or the Raytheon Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System self-protection suite. The self-protection system will include ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers.

Also still under review is whether the deal will include Lockheed Martin’s Sniper targeting pods or Northrop Grumman’s Litening pod, with a similar choice pending on the reconnaissance pod front, where the Goodrich DB-110 and BAE Systems F-9120 are contenders.

The fighters will be equipped with APG-68(V)9 radars.

In terms of armaments, the Pentagon says the Iraqi government is being offered older-type Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinders, with the AIM-9X not in the package. The AIM-120 beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile also is not included. Instead, Iraq is being offered 150 AIM-7 Sparrows.

The air-to-ground ordnance includes an offer of 50 AGM-65 Maverick missiles, as well as 500- and 2,000-lb. laser-guided bombs, including bunker-buster GBU-24s. A variety of general purpose bombs also is part of the package, but no GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions.

December 13 , 2011
By Robert Wall

Aviation Week l Iraq Still Faces F-16 Choices

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